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A Little Advertising

28 Apr

Remember back in February when I shared a painting I did for my friend, the author of the Winters Saga series?  Well she just launched a new website   promoting her books.  She is also publishing them as paperbacks now, previously they were only available on Amazon.com for Kindle and Cloud readers.

With the promotions of her newest title, Legacy due out in October, and the publishing of paperback versions of her books, this has been a very busy and exiting time for Karen!  AND check out what pops up on her website!  My painting!

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It’s fun to see my work pop up in other places around the web.  But it’s more fun to know that people really appreciate my work!

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Flamingo

26 Mar

Handmade gifts are the best, right?  Don’t you love receiving a gift that someone you care about has painstakingly fabricated with their own two hands?  And it’s the thought that counts, even if you don’t totally adore the gift . . . right?

Muuwaaaahaaahaaa UNLESS the gift was made with pure malice and EVIL by your cunningly handy sister!  Muuwaaahaaaaahaaaa!  My friends, may I introduce to you . . .  My sister’s birthday present . . .

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A little back-story may be in order here.  My sister HATES pink flamingos.  She thinks they are the tackiest animal on the face of the earth.  So naturally, she despises those lovely plastic pink flamingos that grace the gardens and yards of home everywhere.  What’s worse than an ugly plastic flamingo?  A BEJEWELED plastic flamingo!

If you want to make one of your own, because well why the hell not, right?  All you need are an ugly plastic flamingo, 1500 crafts jewels, a LOT of hot glue, and a lot of patience.  This bad boy here took me about 6 hours to bejewel, and is the reason I no longer have finger prints.  And since I ended up with 2 of these flamingos, of course I HAD to make a 2nd one!  Any takers?  Hehehehe

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Kids Art Frame

14 Mar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASorry I’ve MIA, life caught up with me!  But don’t think I haven’t been busy crafting and DIY-ing . . . because I have!

My kids make all sorts of cute projects between school, the library craft time and with me at home.  We have a gallery in the hall that we hang their little works of art on.  We also hang them in windows and in their rooms.  But I like to be able to hang some of their masterpieces in the playroom as well.  I don’t want to do/buy artwork for the playroom, since it is their special room, I think they should be able to display their own artwork there!

We made these cute changeable art frames to hang in the playroom so the boys can hang whatever special works of art they want on their own.  These were totally FREE to make with simple supplies we already had lying around!

The back of the frame is actually from a storage cubby I bought and put in Little C’s room for toys.  They give you these thin plywood type backs to nail to the back of the cubby to keep toys from falling out.  Well, we decided not to use them so they were just sort of lying around the house.  I thought they would make great art frames!   If you don’t have these at your disposal, you could use any other piece of wood, cardboard, a dry erase board . . . whatever you want.

Little C chose craft pom poms to glue around the outer edge to create his frame.  Big A chose craft glass marbles.  I hot glued 2 clothespins to each frame for the boys to clip their art in.  I also wrote “Look What I Made” at the bottom.  Now the frames-which are works of art all on their own-hang proudly in the playroom for the boys to hang special projects.  They can easily change out their art as often as they want!

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Play With Your Food!

5 Mar

I’ve been trying to incorporate learning into Little C’s craft projects lately.  Since he is home with me all day instead of going to daycare I feel like he may miss out on some important stuff.  We’ve been working on ABCs. counting, colors etc.  Colors are very challenging for him as he is red/green colorblind just like his daddy.

We’re hoping if we continue to do Springy projects the weather will take a hint and things will warm up around here!  We decided to play with fruity Cheerios, which are basically Fruit Loops with a LOT less sugar.  Little C wasn’t to sure about it at first, being I always tell him to eat his food, not play with it.  He warmed up to the idea pretty quickly though.

First we sorted our Cheerios by color-red, orange, yellow, green and purple.  He did better than I thought he would, only got slipped up a few times.

After sorting our colors (and eating a few) Little C started gluing the Cheerios onto a piece of blue construction paper to make a rainbow.  We glued cotton balls on for the cloud.  It turned out very cute!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When the rainbow was all done Little C wanted to know what other kinds of things we could do with our Cheerios.  We did some counting, but he was really wanting to glue more food to paper!

I made some letters on construction paper with glue, and he stuck Cheerios and cotton balls onto the glue letters.  He really liked that, and while he was gluing we talking about all the words that started with each letter he did.

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I wonder if there are any projects we can do with a big, juicy T-bone steak?

Melted Bead Sun Catchers

4 Mar

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I had a terrible, throbbing headache for several days last week.  The kind that makes even a whisper seem like someone is using your head as a bongo drum.  The kind that makes it very difficult to be home with a rambunctious 3 year old all day.  I needed a quiet activity that would keep him busy and quiet long enough for my Advil to kick in.

Little C and I, thinking Spring and sun, made some cute little sun catchers using plastic craft beads and muffin tins.  Here’s how it’s done:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Do NOT grease the muffin tins.  Create designs in your muffin tins using the craft beads.  We had quite a few designs, as well as a few cups where Little C just packed in as many beads as he could.  You only want to cover the bottom of the tin with your designs.  The thicker you pack them in, the longer they will take to melt and cool.

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Bake the beads at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until fully melted.  The beads stink a little as they are melting, but not nearly as bed as I thought they would.  I cracked a window even though it was pretty cold out, just to ventilate for a while.

When the beads are all melted, remove the muffin tins carefully from the oven and set them somewhere safe to cool.  Little C was anxious to take them out, but you have to let them fully cool and harden or you are going to get some nasty burns!

Once they are cooled and hard again, there are a number of ways to get them out of the tin.  You can place it upside down on a towel on a hard surface.  The towel just softens their fall so they do not break.  The tapOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the tin until they pop out.  Or, you can use a butter knife and simply press down on the edge of on of the sun catchers until it pops out.

I drilled holes in each little disk using a very small drill bit in Handy Hubby’s power drill.  Then we strung them up with fishing line and hung them in the window!

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I Haven’t Lost My Marbles

27 Feb

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am sick of Winter!  I am getting cabin fever like you wouldn’t believe, and so are my boys!  Fortunately for me, while Big A is at school Little C and I have plenty of time to get messy!  Hey, kids are washable!

Today we decided to play with paint.  I pulled out an old cookie sheet and some marbles to do some fun marble painting.  Little C thought this was just about the coolest way to paint EVER!

I stuck a piece of paper on the cookie sheet and randomly dripped paint onto the paper.  Then Little C gently tipped the tray back and forth and side to side.  The marbles rolled through the paint and created some very colorful lines!  As the marbles rolled, they even made new colors, so this project was actually educational to a certain extent . . . although Little C is red green color blind, so he didn’t see the changes all the time.

After a few marbles paintings we decided to see what other patterns we could make.  Enter the monster trucks!  Little C rolled the trucks through paint and then rolled them on the paper, which made very interesting textural patterns.  The monster trucks will come clean with a little hot water, so we didn’t ruin and toys.  (pardon the mess behind him, I swear my kitchen island does not always look like that!

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We also took out a rolling pin and wrapped rubber bands around it and experimented with the patterns that would made.  The possibilities for painting go so far beyond just plain old paint and a brush!  Now we have some beautifully colorful new artwork to hang on our “Gallery Wall” as well as in the playroom.

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Making Fun of Winter

22 Feb

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe met another on of Mother Nature’s bratty children today!  Winterstorm Felicia came by for a visit, dump more unwanted snow on us, cancelling schools all over.  We are sick of Winter, sick of being stuck indoors . . .

Wait . . . Who says we have to stay indoors?  As long as temps are above zero, we can-and should- get outside every day!  The kids need to burn off some energy and we all need a little fresh air!  But, what to do outside?  Here are a few of our favorite Snow-filled activities.

Snowman- Kind of a no brainer!  Build a snowman, decorate him with things you can find in your own back yard.  Don’t feel like making the typical snowman?  Make a snow dog, snow bear, snow tarantula . . .  whatever you and your kids can conger up, the wackier the better!

Snow fort-another no brainer, but always a hit with the kids.  We like to use the large hill of snow from the plow as our starting point and hollow it out to make a cave type fort.  But however you build it, it will be fun until it melts!

Snow darts-Not really “darts”, but a fun game.  Make a target on wood or cardboard and take turns throwing snowballs at it.  The bigger the target the easier it will be for smaller kids.  You can use a waterproof paint or thick permanent marker to draw the target on.

Snowball freeze tag- A classic playground game with a Wintery twist.  Instead of just tagging people to freeze them, the person who is “it” throws snowballs at them, if you are hit you freeze in place until someone unfreezes you by tagging you.

Snow paint-My kids LOVE this one because they can draw on the snow, their snowman or any other snow creation they’ve made.  We’ve made a couple of ways and they all work very well.  Mix a few drops of food coloring or some Kool Aid into a spray bottle of water.  Spray the snow to paint your design or paint clothes on your snowman or snow angels.

Freezing bubbles- It has to be pretty cold out for this to work, but we’ve tried it and it was pretty cool.  Blow bubbles on a REALLY cold day outside.  They will freeze in the air and sort of shatter!  But it only works in pure frigid temps, so it’s one of those “we are only going to be outside for 10 minutes” types of activities.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sledding-You don’t need a huge hill in your yard for the kids to enjoy sledding.  My kids like to sled down the snow pile the plows make, sledding into our yard.  They have a race to see who reaches the bottom first, or see who can sled the farthest into the yard.  The best part is it’s not such a huge hill that I have to keep pulling them back up!  Don’t have a hill?  Shovel all your driveway snow into a nice pile for them, pack it down really good and sled away!

Tic Tac Snow- Draw a giant tic tac toe board in the snow and gather some sticks and stones or other objects.  The kids can play a giant game of tic tac toe!

Snow Cookies- bust out some shaped sand molds or pails and have the kids make “snow cookies and snow cakes”.  They can use them the same as they do in the sand.  You can decorate the walkway with them or pile them high to make a fort wall.

For the birds- Create a birdseed mosaic in the snow,by making pictures with different colors and types of birdseed.  When you are done, you can watch the birds from inside as they enjoy eating your artwork.

I’m sure there are a ton of other fun things to do on a snow day, these are just a few of our favorites!  So what are you waiting for?  Go play in the snow!

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